Manchester United’s defensive failings quieten Premier League title talk

As they showed on a windy day in Stoke, United are not yet performing consistently enough to be regarded even as a sure thing for a top-four finish
• Match report: Stoke City 1-1 Manchester United

Manchester United title contenders? You’re having a laugh, as they used to chant on the terraces. A team that fails to pick up both Peter Crouch and Ryan Shawcross at Stoke’s first corner, going behind to a classic Potters set-piece goal in under two minutes? A team with a backline so shaky that they could easily have gone two down midway through the first half, had Mame Diouf showed any sort of finishing composure after he had beaten Jonny Evans all ends up?

Visitors who spent much of the second half under siege in their own penalty area, riding their luck on at least one occasion as Stoke pressed for a winner and were denied a clear penalty?

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